b. 18/11/1943 Brooklyn, New York. d. 05/02/1969 Quang Tri, Vietnam.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 05/02/1969 Quang Tri, Vietnam.
Noonan was born on November 18, 1943 in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, New York in June 1961 and attended Hunter College in the Bronx, New York, graduating with a B.A. degree in Physical Education in June 1966. Coincidentally, he grew up with Sergeant Robert Emmett O’Malley, who would also be awarded the Medal of Honor in Vietnam. The two attended school and church together and were friends throughout childhood. After Noonan's death in Vietnam, O'Malley remained in contact with the Noonan family and visited Noonan's mother every year on Memorial Day.
He enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve in Brooklyn, New York on December 26, 1967 and was subsequently discharged to enlist in the Regular Marine Corps on January 31, 1968.
Private Noonan completed recruit training with the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina in April 1968, and was promoted to private first class on April 1, 1968.
Transferred to the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he underwent individual combat training with the 1st Battalion, 1st Infantry Training Regiment.
Ordered to the Republic of Vietnam in July 1968, he was assigned duty as mortar man with H&S Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF. In August, he was reassigned to the 3rd Marine Division where he saw combat as a rifleman, M-79 Man with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on January 1, 1969.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Fire Team Leader with Company G, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division, in operations against the enemy in Quang Tri Province in the Republic of Vietnam. On February 5, 1969, Company G was directed to move from a position which they had been holding southeast of the Vandergrift Combat Base in A Shau Valley to an alternate location. As the Marines commenced a slow and difficult descent down the side of the hill, made extremely slippery by the heavy rains, the leading element came under a heavy fire from a North Vietnamese Army unit occupying well-concealed positions in the rocky terrain. Four men were wounded, and repeated attempts to recover them failed because of the intense hostile fire. Lance Corporal Noonan moved from his position of relative security and, maneuvering down the treacherous slope to a location near the injured men, took cover behind some rocks. Shouting words of encouragement to the wounded men to restore their confidence, he dashed across the hazardous terrain and commenced dragging the most seriously wounded man away from the fire-swept area. Although wounded and knocked to the ground by an enemy round, Lance Corporal Noonan recovered rapidly and resumed dragging the man toward the marginal security of a rock. He was however, mortally wounded before he could reach his destination. His heroic actions inspired his fellow Marines to such aggressiveness that they initiated a spirited assault which forced the enemy soldiers to withdraw. Lance Corporal Noonan's indomitable courage inspiring initiative and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
BURIAL LOCATION: CALVARY CEMETERY, WOODSIDE, NEW YORK.
First Calvary, Section 6, Plot 101, Grave 14
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